Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Regions Bank, Member FDIC, but all of the opinions and viewpoints expressed in this post are 100% my own.
I regularly talk to millennials that want to know what steps they need to take to live a better financial life. What they really want to know is how to reduce their financial stress so they can focus more on life and worry about money less.
So today, I want to tell you about the money moves you need to make to stop stressing so much about your finances. And, I’m going to tell you how Regions Bank is now offering modern and millennial-friendly banking features and services that will help you with each step.
Here are the 5 money moves every millennial need to make in 2020
1. Find a better bank
If you’ve been using the same bank for years, it’s possible that you’re missing out on a lot of innovative new features that can help you save money, pay your bills, and reach your long-term financial goals.
Since starting this site, I’ve been able to talk to a number of financial institutions about what millennials want. And one bank in particular — Regions Bank, member of the FDIC — is focusing its energy on how to make a more millennial-friendly banking experience.
Regions Bank has been opening a number of new branches to offer a more modern banking experience, which gives busy millennials quick banking solutions that make it easier to manage their money.
Here are just a few of the features Regions Bank has implemented in its new branches:
- Regions Video Banking ATM (VTM): These new ATMs allow you to connect with a Regions Video Banker via live two-way video. You can use this new technology to process most of your transactions, plus handle account maintenance and general inquiries. VTMs are also available during extended hours on weekdays, plus weekends and many holidays. Improved accessibility means you can bank on your schedule.
- DepositSmart ATM: For transactions that don’t require a banker, you can use Regions’ DepositSmart ATMs to get cash, transfer funds, cash checks, make deposits and get mini-statements.
- 24 Hour Banking Vestibule: Regions Bank’s new branches give you access to video banking ATMs and DepositSmart ATMs around the clock in the Banking Vestibule. You can even unlock the door to these vestibules using your driver’s license if you need access outside of normal business hours.
- Improved Drive-Thrus: Regions Video Banking ATMs and Deposit Smart ATMs are now available in drive-thru lines so you never have to leave your car.
- Instant Issue Debit Cards: Instead of waiting for a new debit card to come in the mail, Regions Bank can issue a new Visa® CheckCard during your visit. That means the same day replacement if you lose your card, experience fraud, or need to replace your check card for any reason.
More than anything, Regions Bank has improved its technology to give you a higher level of accessibility.
Accessibility is part of the millennial experience — with just a couple of taps, we can invest money, order food, pay our bills, and more. Regions Bank is embracing this standard with its new branches and its digital services.
Regions Online Banking has a redesigned app to make it easier to interact with your money, from checking your balance, making mobile payments, and depositing checks with a snap of your phone’s camera.
If your bank doesn’t offer modern solutions like this, it’s time to find a better bank, and Regions Bank is worth checking out.
2. Make a plan to pay off your debt
In some ways, debt is a rite of passage for millennials, but that doesn’t mean you need to live with it forever. And trust me, destroying your debt is one of the best feelings in the world.
But millennials have a lot of debt, including student loans, personal loans, car loans, credit card debt, mortgages, and more.
Personal finance bloggers like me can teach you how to start attacking your debt, but Regions Bank Insights also has a collection of articles that will help you manage and pay off your debt. You’ll learn about:
- Why you need to stop spending more than you earn
- How to create an outline of what you owe
- Develop a workable budget
- Set up a payment plan
- Contact your creditors
- Keeping an eye on your loans
If you have long-term financial goals (more on that), focusing on your debt pay-off is one of the first steps to reaching those goals.
You can read more about this from Regions’ post How to Pay Off Debt: 6 Steps to Success.
3. Start saving
Saving money has a two-fold effect on your financial life: it can prevent you from taking on more debt and build future wealth.
To help you save, Regions offers savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, IRA options, investment services, and private wealth management. You can open a new account and speak with a banker in any of the Regions' innovative new branches.
And, there are now over 1,400 Regions Bank branches across the South, Midwest, and Texas. In my home state of Texas, Regions is increasing its total locations in-market to 40 by the end of 2020.
4. Work on increasing your income
While decreasing your spending is one path towards better financial health, increasing your income is a much more effective strategy.
I have firsthand experience with both — I lived extremely frugally, including moving in with my in-laws, to pay off nearly $40,000 of student loan debt. It was really freaking hard. But when I started this site, I began to realize the powerful effect of increasing my income.
My wife and I were both able to quit our teaching jobs, we’ve gone on some pretty epic vacations, and we can retire early… I love running this site too much to retire any time soon.
When I started bringing in extra income, I was able to expedite my student loan pay off and start making bigger things happen. Even bringing in an extra $1,000/month from a side hustle can have a massive effect on your finances.
Regions Bank has improved features that will help you manage your extra side hustle cash, like depositing checks using the improved Regions mobile app or opening a dedicated small business account.
5. Set long-term goals
When you’re focusing hard on your current financial situation, future planning is easy to push off. You’ve got bills to pay, debt to pay down, work, family obligations, and more. With all of that, how are you supposed to think about, much less plan for the next few decades?
Before I talk about how, let’s talk about why…
Setting long-term goals gives you the motivation to keep pushing forward. Do you want to live debt-free? Travel more? Buy a house? Retire early? Give more to your favorite charities?
Each of those goals will inspire you to make better financial choices. They remind you why you’re side hustling, saving, and paying off your debt.
To set long-term financial goals, one thing you can do is to find a bank that offers comprehensive planning services. And you probably know what I’m going to say… yes, Regions Bank can help you set and reach your goals. Regions Bank offers:
- Asset and investment management services
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Charitable trusts and planned giving
You can learn more about these services at any Regions Bank branches, including the newest ones in my hometown of Houston, TX.
Welcoming the newest Regions Bank branches
One of the reasons I was so excited to work with Regions Bank is because they’re doing big things where I live. Like I said, by the end of 2020, Regions will operate 40 branches in Houston, TX.
The newest locations in Houston are:
- Briar Forest Branch at 1502 Eldridge Parkway, Houston, TX 77077, open now
- Cypress Creek Branch at 3349 FM 1960 West Rd., Houston, TX 77068, opening February 24, 2020
- Kempwood Branch at 2730 Gessner Rd., Houston, TX 77080, opening February 24, 2020
And if you’re in the Houston area, the Kempwood Branch is hosting its grand opening soon (date TBD).
The final word on the money moves every millennial need to make
Millennials, more than any other generation, hustle hard to live a better financial life. We’re busy working multiple jobs, paying off debt, and starting our families. Regions Bank, member of the FDIC, has acknowledged what we need better banking options to meet us at where we’re at.
Regions Bank wants us to focus more on life and worry less about money, and it’s helping us make the right money moves to make that happen.